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Can I thaw a whole piece of ginger root to be used later to make candy? If so, how long can I keep the thawed piece? I froze a healthy root in an airtight container for two weeks, but when I thawed it in the refrigerator overnight it became slimy, mushy and was oozing juice so I threw it away. Many people use frozen ginger, but I've done a lot of searching and haven't found any information about whether or not a root can be thawed to it's original state. Would someone kindly answer me, or direct me to a place where this question has been answered? Thank you very much!

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No, you can never restore a fruit or vegetable to its original texture after thawing. Physically, this is caused by the water in its cells expanding and bursting the cell walls. When it thaws, the water flows out of the damaged cell walls. It is not actually pure water, but cytoplasm, so it can feel differently from plant to plant, in this case slimy. It is not always slimy, but any thawed plant becomes soft and mushy, and there is no way around it.

While it may superficially look like rotten, there is no safety problem with it. You can use and eat it without any problems. The advice you found for using frozen ginger shows that, at least for the recipes it is intended to, the change in texture doesn't matter. If it matters for your recipe, then no, you cannot preserve it by freezing, because there is no way to restore it to its fresh state.

  • Very thorough explanation! If the thawed ginger is still usable, does that mean I can keep it, and if so for how long? – Sue Sep 27 '14 at 16:18
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    The short answer: 3-5 days in the fridge, 4 hours outside. This is the same for any food (except shelf stable ones). For more details on food storage duration, see our guide at cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/21068/…, or for individual foods, check stilltasty.com Specifically for ginger, there are a few related questions shown in the right-hand column which will probably be interesting for you. – rumtscho Sep 27 '14 at 16:30
  • Bears repeating that you can't store it like un-frozen, un-thawed ginger :) – rackandboneman Jan 10 '17 at 11:06

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